BOCRA issues fines for fake phones

Real or not: Regulators across Africa are struggling to enforce type approval standards in their markets PIC ITWEB AFRICA
Real or not: Regulators across Africa are struggling to enforce type approval standards in their markets PIC ITWEB AFRICA

The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) dished out fines ranging up to P2,000 each to 55 retailers around the country who were found selling substandard and counterfeit communications devices last year.

According to the Authority’s annual report released recently, BOCRA conducted inspections on 169 communication retailers around the country and found 55 of them to be non-compliant, selling devices that were substandard, counterfeit or unauthorised.

BOCRA is responsible for enforcing type approval standards in the country which ensure that all communications equipment used in Botswana is compliant with national standards, covering health and safety, electro- magnetic compatibility, interoperability, and the latest National Radio Frequency Plan. In its inspections last year, BOCRA seized 432 communication devices and dished out penalties not exceeding P2,000 to those selling them.

The inspections were conducted in Francistown, Shoshong, Mahalapye, Goodhope, Kanye, Moshupa, Ramotswa, Mosolotshane, Mmathethe, and Lobatse. According to the Authority, compliance was found to be lowest in Francistown and Kanye, while Shoshong, Mahalapye, Ramotswa, Moshupa, Mosolotsane, and Mmathethe had the highest rates of compliance.


Analysts believe the compliance rates are linked to the number of retailers in each area, with larger towns susceptible to lower compliance rates due to a higher density of retailers.

BOCRA officials said the Authority would continue carrying out type approval inspections and awareness activities in areas that have a low compliance rate to improve compliance.

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